Welcome back! (Plus, an important update)

August 27, 2021

To the University community:

We are merely days away from the start of our fall semester. As we make final preparations for Monday, I have an important update that I hope will add to the excitement we collectively share:

I am pleased to share that, as of this morning, nearly 80% of our campus community is either fully or partially vaccinated, with more than 76% of our students, faculty, and staff having completed the full COVID-19 vaccination cycle. We expect these numbers to continue climbing in the next few weeks as we complete Move-In Weekend and return to campus in full for the start of the semester.

The COVID-19 vaccine is a safe and effective measure to protect yourself and others against serious illness. It’s encouraging to see our Explorers accept this shared responsibility to prioritize safety and wellness.

Of those who have not been vaccinated, less than 3% have submitted and received approval for religious or medical exemptions, while 18% of our community is categorized as non-compliant. For the latter, this means either they have not submitted a vaccination status form to the University’s COVID-19 response team or their submission was incomplete.

Next steps for students
Non-compliant students received instruction this week that they are not to return to campus until a vaccination status form is submitted. (Students must either begin their vaccination series or submit/receive a religious or medical exemption to be considered compliant.) At Move-In Weekend, non-compliant residential students upon arrival will be required to submit their vaccination status form and complete an acknowledgement of responsibility form. For commuter students, faculty will receive a list of students in their classes who are non-compliant. The Provost will send a follow-up email to faculty with instructions on how to direct these students during the first week of class.

Next steps for employees
The Office of Human Resources has begun outreach to the supervisors of non-compliant employees to discuss available options and, as needed, initiate disciplinary action.

Important dates
City of Philadelphia regulation requires thatby Friday, Oct. 15, all college and university students and employees must complete the full COVID-19 vaccine series or submit and receive an approved medical or religious exemption. Full vaccination status is achieved two weeks after receiving the second dose of a two-dose series or a single-dose vaccine. These are the key dates to which to adhere, in order to be considered fully vaccinated:

  • The first dose of the Moderna vaccine must be received by Friday, Sept. 3.
  • The first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine must be received by Friday, Sept. 10.
  • The single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine must be received by Friday, Oct. 1.

We have endured challenges and adhered to health and safety guidelines. I look forward to a successful academic year and I am confident we will work together to preserve and protect the health of ourselves and others.

On behalf of our entire community, I warmly welcome you back to La Salle University!


Tim O’Shaughnessy, ’85
Interim President